Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Goodbye Mr. Wrong- Learning to Live, Laugh and Love Again

Isn’t that a great title for my new 8 week course? Thanks to Kerrianne Cartmer-Edwards, the Kickass Branding Coach from England for helping me with a name. Kerrianne was my amazing roommate at a 3 day training event in California last week. I felt a little overwhelmed at the event, and it wasn't until a few days after I got home that I realized the gifts I received. The biggest gift was the incredible people I met- a few whom I have talked to on the phone, others I have read their words, no one I had met in person. It was wonderful to meet them- people from Canada, the US, Sweden, England and Australia.

I often think of the blessings and incredible gifts that greet me on a daily basis, and started thinking of all the incredible gifts I've received in the past few months. For instance, the night I flew home my suitcase decided to stay in San Francisco. I had a meltdown when I realized my car and apartment keys were in the suitcase!  Angie, a woman I never met before, lent me her car to use until my bag flew in a few hours later. What an Earth Angel! Another fabulous woman, Wendy Howard, from the UK, partnered up with me to do a teleseminar series (that will happen in January, more on that later). I am feeling so very blessed by all the incredible goodness and love that surrounds me! I am now getting ready to fly up to Fort McMurray to spend the holidays with my sons, daughters-in-law and four grandkids, and truly feeling blessed to have such loving family and friends.

I was thinking of people who have recently left their partner who may be having a very difficult time at this time of year and wondering what I could do to support them. If that is you, I decided to open up eight complimentary half hour coaching sessions this Thursday Dec 19th  and 8 sessions on Thursday January 2nd to help you with an easier transition through the holidays and coming New Year. We’ll talk, and you will receive an idea or two to help you move forward through the holiday season.  Please email me at if you are interested. If you know of someone who is recently separated and having a difficult time, please forward this onto them and have them contact me.  

In the words of Bob Hope, "My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"

Wishing you a holiday season filled with love, light and laughter.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I remember as a child the Remembrance Day parade of Legion members going down Main Street to the Cenotaph at City Hall, taps being played, the salutes, the laying of wreaths. The two minutes of silence- everyone stopped whatever they were doing at 11 am for two minutes and paid their respects to those who died for our freedom. As a child those two minutes seemed an eternity.

Not much has changed since then- except there has been so many more wars and soldiers killed. Some have died for our freedom and others we question what the war was about. I started thinking of the effects of war, the deaths, destruction, people returning home unable to speak of what they saw, PTSD, the seeming senselessness, the fears war brings up, the anger, the divisions among people on their beliefs on war; the range of emotions involved- such as shame, remorse, guilt, anger, blame, righteousness, pride. It concerns me, for I truly want this big blue planet to still be here and abundantly beautiful for my grandchildren, future great grandchildren and their children to enjoy.

Peace or War?

 I heard Dr. Bruce Lipton say a few years ago that we each are a microcosm of the world- that the wars that rage within us (illness, thoughts, emotions) is representative of the wars on earth, and the more whole and healthy we become, the more the earth will heal; the more peace and harmony we can create individually, the more peace and harmony is created on the planet. So how do we create peace within ourselves?

I remember when I really got that my thoughts create my reality- either creating a Heaven or Hell here on earth. Yet, even with knowing that, I still fall into old beliefs that I unquestioningly follow, which lead to feelings and emotions that are not friendly, but familiar. Then I wake up and remember I have choice, and do something to change them, such as choosing a different thought, or using a technique like tapping or writing or Byron Katie's The Work.

We talk about taking responsibility for our lives and our choices, about not blaming others for what is happening, instead looking at our part in it. Nobody makes us angry or mad or happy or sad- it is our reaction to what the other person said or did that creates our emotions. (However, new brain scans show that when we are with someone and listening to them our brains do start working alike- if we are with someone happy, we are happy- if they are angry, we feel anger). Some people misinterpret responsibility to mean blaming themselves for what is not going right in their world, becoming a victim of themselves!

If we have been affected by a toxic relationship, whether it's a boss or lover or parent, it is often natural when our esteem is low to blame the other person for how we feel, then as we start feeling stronger to start blaming ourselves for giving our power away to another. Responsibility isn't about making us victim- it is about taking a look at our part and seeing what we can do differently next time. There are always powerful lessons to learn if we choose to look for them. We need to practice compassion, acceptance and understanding with ourselves, and continue the practice until we change that way of thinking and eventually our neural pathways.
A blame-free way of communicating with others was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, called Compassionate (Non-Violent) Communication. It was first created for personal relationships and is now being used in businesses and hospitals. It is a way of talking that increases trust and reduces natural defensiveness. If you are interested in finding out more about it, there are some great YouTube videos below:
Compassionate Communication

Resonance or Dissonance?

Mark Waldman and Andrew Newburg, two neuroscientists, have discovered through brain scans that as we honestly speak positive thoughts and feelings to another person, both people's brains start resonating with positive thoughts and feelings (neural resonance). When we listen to and see another person displaying kind, loving, peaceful, compassionate and generous behaviours, we begin to act the same way. Brain scans show your brain begins to mirror the neural activity of the other person's brain. They identified when you see the goodness in others they see it in you; called reciprocal altruism. However, when you show anger or other negative thoughts and feelings, it repels others; they go into fight or flight (neural dissonance). How many fights, arguments and wars would be eliminated if we stopped, relaxed, listened and chose to speak with compassion and kindness?  How much better would we feel in relationships with others and ourselves if we practiced this?

What if next time toxic emotions like blame, anger, sadness, jealousy, hurt, fear or guilt surface, you took a few breaths, fully accepted them and then let them go? Brain scans show these toxic emotions shut down parts of our brain. Choose to look at the situation differently, through eyes of compassion, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, toward yourself and others. This can be a wonderful opportunity to change to a belief that better serves you, creating peace and harmony within yourself first and maybe even the planet!

 I choose to remember peace and harmony; and you, what do you choose?

Until next time, be good to yourself! Treat yourself with love and compassion, and remember, YOU are your greatest asset!

Norma Reid, Life Coach and Trainer

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Here we are- Fall is definitely here- and Canadian Thanksgiving has past.       
I am feeling so great and so full- so grateful- for all the wonderful people- family and friends and internet friends- that I have in my life. I am so blessed to have two great sons, two fabulous daughters-in-law and 4 fantastic grandkids- the youngest whom turns two today. I have been blown away by the generosity of so many of you who have connected, listened, laughed, and been there for me, supporting me in so many ways. I truly am blessed- my love cup is filled up and I'm feeling vibrant and alive once again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Struggle Ends when the Gratitude Begins
Neale Donald Walsh said, "The struggle ends when the gratitude begins", and that statement rings true to me. In times of struggle it can be difficult to really appreciate and feel gratitude for what is, and sometimes it is about faking it til we make it- saying the words, doing the exercise, trying to feel it. When we are feeling down, or having issues with someone (partner, child, boss, co-worker) or something, it can be pretty difficult to really feel grateful. The beauty is, with practicing it daily one day you wake up feeling truly grateful- and what a gift that is!!! It's that old adage when we change our thinking we change our life- when we change our thinking, we change our feelings, which change our actions and results.
Dr. Robert Emmons is a professor at the University of California who did 8 years research on gratitude and wrote a book, "Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make you Happier". He states, "Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished. Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude." According to Emmons, gratitude is a chosen attitude, and if we choose to cultivate it, we will see benefits, including better health. To cultivate gratitude you need to give up 'victim mentality' and overcome a sense of entitlement and deservedness, good things to let go of!
I'm pretty sure we've all heard about the benefits of writing down at least 5 things we are grateful for each day, yet how many actually do it? If you're having a difficult time feeling grateful right now, it might be a great exercise to try! Try it for 30 days and see the difference it makes in your life!

Thank You
A friend asked what I was writing on. I answered, it's on Gratitude, and I think I'll call it Thank You. I was thinking of how thankful I am to each of you- when she said, 'hmm... great idea! Thanking yourself for what you do!"
What a wonderful creative idea- to spend this Thanksgiving being grateful for all that makes our world so wonderful- and to give thanks to yourself for the beautiful gift you are as well! What if you really acknowledged and appreciated who you are and said 'thank you' to yourself each time you did something you would have appreciated someone else for? See how many times you can catch yourself doing or saying or thinking something nice and then acknowledge yourself for it. It might bring a smile to your face and a giggle to your heart! If you decide to take on this challenge, I would love to hear how it was for you!

Feeling so much gratitude for you! Until next time, Be good to yourself! YOU are your greatest asset!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Elephant Path

One of our readers wrote a great article that fits nicely here. This article was written by: Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation) Richard has been practising Wholistic Counselling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Mediation for the past 25 years in Ottawa.
"Two years ago, I had the good fortune to participate in a wonderful experiential hypnotherapy training seminar on Cape Cod, sponsored by the Harvard University Medical School. The focus of the seminar was the integration of Eastern meditation traditions with self-hypnosis and visualization practices from Western psychotherapy traditions. The Harvard Professor of Psychology who led this seminar has collaborated and traveled extensively with The Dalai Lama. The seminar was very valuable because this topic is on the very cusp of where East meets West.

One very powerful part of the seminar was the exploration of the concept of "negativity" which seems to preoccupy so many people in the West. When The Dalai Lama was asked to explain how Buddhists deal with "negativity", he went off for a few hours with two other Buddhist monks to consider the question. When he returned, he said that they do not have a word for "negativity" because they do not have this CONCEPT in their tradition. This is profound! The principle they operate on is duality and duality precludes the projections of "negativity" and "positivity". Basically, there is no need for "positive" and "negative". They become an arbitrary and unnecessary burden on one's psyche.
The general theme of my whole counselling and hypnotherapy practice is, "What you project is what you get." One's Self and one's thoughts are two distinguishable entities or energy fields. We can choose whether we let ourselves be defined by our thoughts. We can also choose to monitor our thoughts and pick and choose which ones work for us and which ones do not. We can also choose to move into a supra-conscious state wherein we can modulate our Self and our thoughts. In my view, Descartes was only partially correct in maintaining that we are a "thinking animal". He didn't go far enough. We also have a capacity that other animals do not have, which is self-consciousness and the mutation called "instinctual choice". Other animals do not have conscious choice; they have only simple instinct.

When we open up our capacity to choose to move into the supra-conscious state, we experience the sweet nectar of life. Meditation is a wonderful way to access this state. However, the challenge then becomes one of developing the "staying power" to maintain this blissful state. Awakening is the state of STAYING FULLY AWARE that you are fully conscious "all the time". Ken Wilber challenges all of us with this incredible question, "Since we are fully conscious all the time, why do we seemingly "lose" our awareness of this?"
The Buddhists have many powerful and valuable sacred principles, such as, non-attachment, beginner's mind and the razor's edge. The Indo-Tibetan Buddhist principle that I learned in this seminar and that seemingly answers Ken Wilber's question is called "The Elephant Path". This is the path that eventually leads to staying in the fully awakening state virtually "all the time". "Staying" is the operative word because it is literally impossible for a "part animal" to "stay" in this state. Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha, would probably say to Ken Wilber, and all others: "Catch yourself as soon as possible when you fall out of awareness, and choose to go back into Awakening." The Elephant Path moves slowly onward, like an elephant, and there are nasty, vicious monkeys at every turn on the way to the next highest state. I believe that we can muster the courage to face all of our fears and obstacles.
I truly wish and hope that you experience this wonderful state of Awakening before you leave this life! Namaste............"
Thank you Richard for this thought-provoking article. To contact Richard please call (613) 234-5678 or send an e-mail to:


"Catch yourself as soon as possible when you fall out of awareness, and choose to go back into Awakening."  And have the courage to face your fears and create what you want.

Until next time, be good to yourself! YOU are your greatest asset!!!
Norma Reid, Life Coach and Trainer
If you know of someone going through a transition who might benefit from this, please pass it forward.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Life is Like a Roller Coaster

Here we are, the equinox has occurred, summer is officially over and the days are getting shorter. I haven't yet put away my summer clothes, still hoping for some more of those hot summery days.
I was reflecting on all that has happened in 3 months- starting a new chapter in my life, moving, time spent with friends, new beginnings, some endings. There have been many beautiful memories this summer, including spending a few days with my oldest son, daughter-in-law and three gorgeous grandkids.

One day we went to the fairgrounds and spent the day going on rides. One thing I have learned on this journey of life is there are ups and downs, just like the rides. When life is on the upswing, all is well and I am filled with joy and gratitude, all things are possible. Then, like the roller coaster, sometimes when I start on the downswing I am filled with exhilaration and anticipation, and other times I am filled with fear; for whatever reason, real or imagined, I am triggered and my mind goes into panic. My primitive brain wants to protect me, and I am caught in that awful cycle.
On a roller coaster you can't stop at that point, you have to feel the fear and go right through it. Yet in life we sometimes let that fear stop us, and don't get to enjoy the exhilaration at the end, the satisfaction of having completed it. It is all part of this journey.
This past week has brought some downhill fears, created by my thoughts. Thoughts like, 'what will happen to me financially, will I end up a bag lady? Can I really get my business up and running again?' Along with those thoughts come feelings of loneliness, fear and worry. I know that is old conditioned thinking, my brain returning to old neural pathways.
What helps me is to stop and focus on my breath for a minute or two.

 I practice a mindfulness technique STOP- I Stop and Take a few breaths, focusing on my breath, breathing in peace and breathing out stress, breathing in peace, breathing out stress, breathing in peace, breathing out love, and continuing on for about a minute or so; then I Observe what is going around inside and outside of me- what I am thinking, what I am feeling, the sounds I hear, what I smell, what I see, then I Proceed- ask myself what is the most important thing for me to do next. And do it.

 If that doesn't work and the questions still persist, I take each of the questions and ask myself if it is true right now? So for instance, with 'what will happen to me financially, will I end up a bag lady?'- it helps to know that is a fear many women have (thanks Sarah ban Breathnach in her book "Peace and Plenty"). I know I am financially okay (and always have been- something always unfolds for my highest good) and it calms me down.
And if that doesn't work, I do something I enjoy. You may want to write a list of those things that bring you joy (I call them touchstones)- such as listening to music, singing, walking, talking to a loved one, a bubble bath- and then when you need to change your mental state, pick one and do it! At one point a few years ago I bought some bright butterfly stickies and put a touchstone on each of them and posted them on walls, on mirrors, all throughout the house, so when I felt blue, I would read one and go do it and raise myself up a bit on the emotional scale.
(And sometimes we need a little help from a technique like EFT or Sedona Method or someone else, such as a counselor or body worker). It is really about staying grounded in the present, not letting the past or the future get in the way, and taking one step at a time.

Action Steps

Notice your thoughts and next time they are taking you on a downhill ride, choose to do it differently. You could ride it through, not letting the thought or feeling stop you, or you could really embrace it then let it go, or STOP and do a mindfulness technique- or do a state change by doing something you enjoy- or choose to put your hands up in the air and enjoy the ride- or remember our thoughts are just thoughts, we don't need to buy into them.

I would love to hear of the techniques you use!

Until next time, be good to yourself! YOU are your greatest asset!!!
Norma Reid, Life Coach and Trainer
If you know of someone going through a transition who might benefit from this, please pass it forward.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Persistence, Dreams and Team

Welcome once again!!! And thank you to those of you who responded to my last article- one person shared with me her journey of recovery from a toxic parent, and another generous soul offered some of his great writings to share. I am very moved by the generosity of each of you, and will share your stories at a later date, thank you; you both truly are heroes!!!
I say heroes because they both have been through the Hero's Journey- through the struggles, pain, heartache- the Valley of Death- and learned and gone on to share their light with others.
Today I want to talk about another Hero's Journey. I don't know if you heard the story of Diana Nyad- the 64 year old woman who successfully swam from Cuba to Florida on Sept 2 without a shark cage. This was her 5th attempt- the first was in 1978. She was the first woman to do this.

 After her 53 hour swim she said, "I have three messages.
  • One is we should never, ever give up.
  • Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams.
  • Three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team".

You can read the whole article at the link below- an interesting story of a woman who wouldn't let huge obstacles stop her and in the end succeeded. Even her best friend of 35 years had encouraged her not to try again after failing last year- and she still continued.
I found it incredibly encouraging- a great reminder we are never too old to go for our dreams. I feel more hopeful for my future, that's it's not too late for the dreams I have to come to fruition.
For me, setting a goal isn't about the prize at the end, it is the journey- the learning we receive on our way there. It gives us a direction, a purpose, a focus. For Diane, it was her sole purpose to complete that swim. These days, when I find myself getting distracted easily, it makes life a whole lot easier to set daily goals for myself- it gives me a purpose and direction to go in- and something to celebrate at the end of the day.

What made it successful for her this time (besides the good weather and absence of sharks) was the people she had supporting her- the shark swimmers, the special equipment, people who made her journey easier by supporting her with their expertise. It is so much easier when we have others supporting us along our journey. I feel truly blessed for the support I've had along mine.
Have you put away a dream because you told yourself you were too old or it was too late or you failed so many times before there was no point to try again or? Is it time to dust it off and breathe life back into it?
Some action steps should you choose:
  1. What are your dreams? If you don't have any right now, it might be fun to start writing and create some! It gives you something to look forward to, a focus and direction.
  2. Is it time to take them closer to reality by setting an intention and daily goals?
  3. Enlist the support you need to keep the jellyfish away and reach the beach (if you read the article on Diana you know what I mean)!
Until next time, be good to yourself! You are your greatest asset!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Albert Schweitzer once said, 'At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us'.
Thank you to those who emailed me after reading the last newsletter, your support really means a lot. Big thanks to my family, friends and mentor who have been there for me in such loving ways, rekindling the spark within.

One beautiful soul, Lisa, congratulated me on being back following my life's purpose, and that really reminded me of how far I had strayed. I so badly wanted my relationship to work that I stopped listening to my intuition, and tried to be who my partner wanted me to be rather than myself. I tried to live his values and dreams and forego mine. And in that process I numbed myself- I almost forgot who I was. I so badly wanted his approval and love that I neglected me. I was looking for love and approval from outside myself rather than within. Then, I started remembering who I am and hired a coach to help regain my power and life, live my purpose and feel again- having faith in the future, laughing, feeling more positive, training again- saying YES to life.
I feel all the emotions- sadness, remorse, shame- the emotions I used to try and eliminate from my life. Now I accept what I feel, acknowledge it and keep moving on. As Brene Brown said we can't selectively numb out feelings- when we numb out the 'bad' ones we also numb out the 'good'. I make sure to do something I enjoy each day -such as listening to music, singing, walking, talking to a loved one- to shift the energy a bit.
And I keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs to be done. It is important for me right now to have a daily ritual. Each morning I write down my goals for the day, what the potential blocks may be and how to hurdle them, and at the end of the day I acknowledge my successes and what I am grateful for. I don't beat myself up if I forget something, I pat myself on the back for what I did do. This helps me to continue moving forward rather than being stuck in the muck, and each little step leads me further on my path.

Some steps to help you move forward are:
  1. Be who you are- listen to your intuition and speak your truth!
  2. Accept and acknowledge your feelings and move on
  3. Start a daily ritual

Until next time, Be good to yourself! YOU are your greatest asset!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

From Surviving to Thriving

For the past 3 years, I was in a toxic relationship, my self-esteem dropped and I didn't feel good about who I was or what I did. It took the support of a great mentor and some dear friends to get me feeling strong enough to leave. I now have, just moved to beautiful Victoria BC, and am starting a new chapter of my life. I thought others going through a challenging time could benefit from the tools I am using to get through the mucky part of just surviving and moving on to actually thriving in life once again. If you know of someone that could benefit, please forward this on.

The transition was difficult at first (and some days still are); I was grieving the loss of the relationship, the dreams we shared, the community I had grown to love, the lifestyle etc. Even though I knew it wasn't a healthy relationship and that I was better off leaving, I still was grieving. As Wm. Bridges said about Transitions, we are always going through transitions- beginnings, middles and endings, often experiencing all 3 parts at the same time. These were a lot of endings. I moved to Victoria (a beginning!), to an awesome location near the ocean, yet had no excitement at the prospects that lay before me. I was not hopeful. I was questioning whether the move was right, wondering what I was going to do, feeling depressed and hopeless. Then three things occurred at the same time that changed my outlook.

The first thing that happened was my favourite cousin came to help me get settled. As we talked, I shared with her my fears and worries. This was beneficial for two reasons:
  1. by saying aloud (or writing down) our fears and concerns they dissipate. I was able to see there were other possibilities and it really wasn't as bad as I was thinking; and
  2. for women under stress, talking to another person is extremely beneficial, releasing oxytocin into the body. (SE Taylor et al, UCLA study, 2000)
The next thing we did was a guided meditation each night. I had gotten away from meditating because of monkey mind about a month before my move, so her suggestion of listening to a guided meditation was perfect. I didn't have to think about anything, just listen, and it relaxed my body and mind. I stopped thinking of the past and future, and was focused on the present. We listened to it before bed, then had very peaceful sleeps.

The third thing I did was to get out and explore my neighborhood. I was surprised to find the ocean so close! Walking around the neighborhood, enjoying the flowers, trees, sky, ocean, birds, sand- heavenly! Wonderful food for the soul!! It was at that moment I knew I had finally arrived!!! I am feeling hopeful and looking forward once again!

Action Steps If you are going through a difficult time right now, here are some steps you could take to feel better:
  1. Connect with someone you trust and share your deepest fears and concerns. If you haven't got someone to talk with immediately, write them down! This helps take them out of your head. (Also connect just to talk about other things and maybe have some fun!)
  2. Start a guided meditation process. If you aren't a meditator, there are plenty of free guided meditations on the internet, just Google or YouTube guided meditation and listen.
  3. Get out and enjoy nature! It doesn't have to be a hike in the forest or walk along the beach- enjoy the birds, sky, flowers, trees and people of your own neighbourhood.
Until next time, Be good to yourself! YOU are your greatest asset!